Tennis fans in West Virginia likely recall Eugenie Bouchard’s performance at Wimbledon in 2014 when she reached the women’s singles final. The 21-year-old Canadian was once ranked fifth in the world before a Sept. 4 accident at the U.S. Open. Bouchard slipped and fell in a physiotherapy room at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, and she filed a lawsuit against the United States Tennis Association in a federal court in New York on Oct. 14 seeking unspecified monetary damages.
Bouchard claims in her lawsuit that the USTA acted negligently by failing to clean up a slippery and dangerous substance on the tiled floor of the treatment room. She says that the accident, which occurred after she completed a mixed doubles match, left her with a serious head injury and forced her to withdraw from the U.S. Open as well as potentially lucrative tournaments in Japan and China.
The player says that her world ranking has dropped by 13 places since the accident, which she says was caused solely by the USTA’s failure to ensure that its facilities were kept in a suitable and safe condition. A USTA representative declined to comment on the lawsuit and cited a longstanding policy of the association not to discuss ongoing court proceedings.
Premises owners and operators have a duty of care to ensure that their facilities are safe and free from hazardous conditions, and they may face lawsuits when this duty is not met. Individuals injured in slip-and-fall accidents often suffer debilitating injuries, and they are sometimes unable to earn a living for prolonged periods as they recover. A personal injury attorney may initiate litigation on behalf of accident victims injured due to the negligent actions of others seeking compensation for their medical expenses, lost income and other applicable damages.